Jasper Roberts - Blog

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Advice on Preparing for a Marathon

This is a guest post today, but let me say a few things first. I ran cross-country in middle school and then after that pretty much never ran again. Reason? Mainly because I find it incredibly boring, but more-so that I fear it will make me skinnier (lose weight). And who here wants to be too skinny?


The thing is, I'm pretty sure that eventually I will come around to running at least to some degree. Reason? Because I learned that the human being is well adapted from an evolutionary perspective to run. It's in our DNA. I recommend reading The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel Lieberman. In it, you will learn that the ability to travel quickly by foot over long distances was one of the crucial evolutionary steps that allowed homo sapiens to be so successful. 

Anyway, keep up your personal training and enjoy today's post-

Whether it’s for charity or a personal goal, running a marathon is something many people aspire to accomplish. The idea of improving their endurance or helping a cause while spending time outside can be incredibly appealing. But many of them don’t realize just how hard marathon training can be. You can’t just turn up on the day and expect to complete such a long distance run with no prior training. This will only increase your chance of illness, injury and potentially death. While the run itself is a major factor, the planning and preparation beforehand is what will get you over the finish line. You need to work hard and train regularly for months to get you completely ready for race day. It requires physical and mental strength as well as plenty of enthusiasm and patience. So if you think you are up for the challenge, use the advice in this guide to help you prepare with ease.



Plan a running schedule

Firstly you need to decide what you want your primary goal to be. It could be getting a personal best, raising as much money as you can or just getting round the course in one piece. Once, you’ve decided this you need to start creating a running schedule. This is something that you need to be realistic about. If you do too much at once, you’re likely to injure yourself. But not doing enough could stop you from making a lot of progression. It’s always better to start off slow and gradually increase your mileage. For help on creating an effective beginners running schedule visit http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/130.shtml. You might also want to enlist the help of a running coach to help you stay on target. As well as training sessions, you schedule also needs to include plenty of rest periods too.

It can be difficult to combine your running schedule with your other commitments. There will be times when your work and home life will prevent you from sticking to your schedule. When this happens, it can be easy to feel dishearten and want to give up. But you just need to manage your time and find a healthy balance. You could run before work or during your lunch hour. You could even ask a friend or your partner to go to the gym or a strength building class with you. This can help make your training more enjoyable, and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.


Listen to your body

Injury is something that almost all marathon runners will experience. This can often be caused by overtraining and incorrect running techniques. This is why it is vital that you listen to your body throughout your training. Never compare yourself to others and focus solely on your own abilities. If you find it difficult to run six miles, don’t start to force yourself to run seven. Instead, alter your training to make it easier to achieve over time. If you feel tired or if something doesn’t feel right, stop and give yourself time to rest sufficiently. Remember that quality runs are always better than smaller quantity runs. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Your training will only be successful if you listen to your body and consider what is best for it at all times.

As well as listening to your body, make sure you have support around you too. Whether it’s your family or a local running group, they can help you immensely throughout the process. There will be days when you don’t feel like training hard. A good support network can give you the motivation to proceed while also helping you deal with any issues you might be having. Supportive parties such as physios and coaches can ensure you are in the right condition to run your marathon. In addition to that, they can help you avoid injury and keep you healthy with diet plans and check ups. For an idea of the food you should be eating see http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/marathon-meal-plans.


Get your equipment sorted

In the run up to your marathon, it’s vital that you have the right equipment to use. This should enhance your training as well as providing comfort and support. Ill-fitting or unsuitable training and running equipment can cause discomfort and injuries such as back pain or sprains. As well as putting your training on hold they could also prevent you from competing altogether. So take a look at your current equipment to see if it’s up to par or if there is anything that needs replacing. You may also find that there are some items you are missing which could increase your technique and comfort levels too.

Above all else, you need to have comfortable running shoes. There is nothing worse than wearing shoes don’t fit or feel tight when you are running such a long distance. You also need to have supportive running tops, shorts or legging. These all vary in quality and price, so always buy the best you can afford. Other runners might also suggest gels, running belts and hydration packs that you might want to consider too. You can find all of this and more from retailers like http://www.roadrunnersports.com/.

During your training, you might also benefit from using a treadmill for days when you are unable to run outside. These vary in size, price, and style but could be a useful aid that helps to improve your technique and endurance. To find out more about suitable treadmills, see http://outdoorextravaganza.com/proform-505-cst-treadmill-review/. The more testing and research you do in advance, the easier it will be to find the perfect equipment for your run.

Take what you have learned from this guide and use it to help you start preparing for your upcoming marathon. There is no denying that it will be hard work and push you both physically and mentally. But the feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. So train safely and prepare in advance to help make this the first marathon of many.

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